Letters from a Patchwork Quilt is yet another read that tugged at my heart strings from cover to cover.
It’s exactly the kind of book I love to read (a lot of history…a little romance…) so when my friend Amy from HFVBT asked me to join the book tour this month I readily accepted. I agreed to only share the book with you if I liked it. If I didn’t like it I was able to opt out (not that y’all would ever think I’d lie to you…you know me better than that).
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In 1875 England, a young man, Jack Brennan, from a large and impoverished Catholic family refuses to be pushed into the priesthood and runs away to fulfil his dream of becoming a teacher.
Jack falls in love with Eliza Hewlett, but his dreams and plans are thwarted when his landlord’s daughter, Mary Ellen MacBride, falsely accuses him of fathering the child she is expecting.
Rather than be forced to marry his accuser, Jack decides to run away to America with Eliza. Just as they are about to sail, Jack is arrested and dragged from the ship, leaving Eliza alone en route to New York with just a few shillings in her pocket.
It was heartbreakingly romantic as Jack and Eliza, the star-crossed lovers, found themselves separated and forced to move on.
I don’t read a lot of romance novels (they aren’t really my thing, you know?) but I am a sucker for a great star-crossed lovers story. I’m not sure why the heartache of separation hits me so emotionally but it does. It might be because my husband and I were long-distance for a year and I know the hurt that comes with spending day after day after day unable to be with the one person you truly love. This story was in the same line as Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen (another of my favorite novels).
It’s sad. Just know that. It’s a sad heartbreaking tale of consequences and unfulfilled love. You’ll cry, I promise you, but I love when books don’t try to force everything in to a happy ending with a sweet little bow tied around it. Once separated, the characters live very different lives while loving one another despite being separated by an entire ocean.
If you love tragic romance then I recommend giving it a read. Check out the book here.
About the Author
Clare Flynn is also the author of A Greater World, set in Australia in 1920 and Kurinji Flowers, set in India in the 1930s and 40s. She is a graduate of Manchester University where she read English Language and Literature.
After a career in international marketing, working on brands from nappies to tinned tuna and living in Paris, Milan, Brussels and Sydney, she ran her own consulting business for 15 years and now lives in West London. Co-founder of the popular website, Make it and Mend it, and co-author of the 2012 book of the same name, Letters From a Patchwork Quilt is her third novel.
When not writing and reading, Clare loves to splash about with watercolours and grabs any available opportunity to travel – sometimes under the guise of research.